THE BALL – Portugal loses against France in Matosinhos (Basketball)

Already beaten last Thursday, in Dijon, by 38 points (94-56), Portugal lost again against France, this time in Matosinhos, by 56-69 (16-17, 19-17, 8- 15, 13-20), in the 4th match of the first qualifying round for the 2023 World Cup. A denouement that keeps the Seleção in the last position of group E, still without any triumph.

La Poule – pass the three best – led precisely by the Gauls (4 v-0 d), Olympic vice-champions in Tokyo, but who played without their players who play in the NBA and the Euroleague, followed by Montenegro (2 v- 2 d) and Hungary (2 v-2 d).

As three days ago, the formation of the corners, which remained deprived of the national team Mário Gomes because the latter was suffering from Covid-19 and guided by the assistant Nuno Manarte, broke again after the break (35- 34).

Opponent pressure on the ball and passing lines increased and gradually attacking patterns failed, often resulting in resource throws with no chance of success or avoidable ball losses. 14 of the 26 turnovers took place in the 2nd half, including 8 in a 3rd quarter of poor quality from both teams, but which ended up being dominated by the opponent (8-15).

The moment of total confusion that cost Portugal the chance to stay in the discussion of the result after a 1st half where the defense gave so much to the visitors, often causing them to have to play as they did not want and without being able to control to table fights or to have easy triple throws, happened between the last 3.14m of the 3rd quarter and the first 3.15m of the 4th period, when the Seleção suffered a partial crush 0-15 (43-57).

Back on the pitch, Rafael Lisboa (14) organized the house a bit and converted 8 consecutive points (51-57), but he was too alone and ended up being his last breath as the Frenchman closed the game with a new partial of 5-12.

Besides Lisbon, only Sasa Borovnjak (11 pts, 7 res) reached ten points, with Diogo Brito (3 res) for 9 and Miguel Queiroz (2 res) for 7. Amath M’Baye (16 pts, 2 aces), Sylvaiin Francisco (15 pts, 3 res) and Mathias Lessort (10 pts, 6 res) were top scorers for France, who also finished with 27 turnovers but won the tables (35-28).

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